I've decided to put up the controversial Tom Bissell Harper's excerpts, and ask for input from anyone and everyone as to whether this constitutes plagiarism. (I may also post at some point the "rules" which entering students at universities are required to follow.)
These quotes were posted on the ULA's thread at the Atlantic forum by "Ranger West," and were originally posted at Amazon by an unknown person. What is being compared are Bissell's "Chasing the Sea" essay from the April 2002 Harper's, and the book Ecocide in the USSR by Murray Feshbach.
Feshbach, page 1: "No other great industrial civilization so systematically and so long poisoned its land, air, water and people. None so loudly proclaiming its efforts to improve public health and protect nature so degraded both."
Bissell in Harper's: "No other industrial society so impartially poisoned its land, water, air, and citizens while at the same time so loudly proclaiming its efforts to improve human health and the condition of the natural world."
Feshbach 43: "Stalinist planning justified itself with a forthright slogan: 'We cannot expect charity from nature, we must tear it from her.'"
Bissell: "We cannot expect charity from nature," the Stalinists used to say. "We must tear it from her."
Feshbach 222: "Ranging beyond Moscow, they could have mentioned the surgeon in a distant part of the Russian Republic who told his colleague, the head doctor of a Moscow hospital, about regularly performing appendectomies with a straight-edge razor, as no scalpels were available."
Bissell: "Where surgeons were forced by supply shortages to perform appendectomies with safety razors rather than scalpels."
Feshbach 56: "Hence the stinging joke Soviets told about the likely results of a Red Army conquest of the Sahara: 'For fifty years nothing would happen. After that we would have to import sand.'"
Bissell: "Soviet joke: What would happen if the Soviet army conquered the Sahara Desert? For fifty years, nothing. Then it would run out of sand."
Feshbach 115: "In the Krasnoyarsk region, bordering Kansk, seventy factory directors were personally assessed during 1990 for discharging polluted water. The fee in each case was a mere fifty rubles, enough to buy two packs of imported cigarettes."
Bissell: "Where factory directors guilty of willfully discharging polluted water into the drinking supply were fined fifty rubles, enough for two packs of imported cigarettes."
Feshbach 134: "In those early years, some enthusiastic Soviets actually named their daughters Elektrifikatsiya (and their sons Traktor)."
Bissell: "Where people were so enthused over humankind's new technological prowess they named their daughters Elektrifikatsiya and their sons Traktor."
Feshbach 218: "They came, after all, from the ranks of a profession where the standing joke had doctors examining a patient asking one another: 'Well, shall we treat him or shall we let him live.'"
Bissell: "Soviet joke: Two doctors are examining a patient. One doctor looks at the other. 'Well,' he says, 'what do you think? Should we treat him or let him live?'"
Feshbach 260: "For at least several more perilous years, it will be easier to point to the size of the ecological danger than to define the most cost-effective ways to reduce it and to say with a hollow laugh, as the Russian Republic minister of health had in 1989: 'To live longer, you must breathe less.'"
Bissell: "Whose minister of health in 1989 advised, 'To live longer, you must breathe less.'"
Feshbach 267: "In 1990, however, the crowd carried not Gorbachev's portrait but signs that read: '70 Years on the Road to Nowhere' and in scornful memory of Nikita Khrushchev's boasts about overtaking American standards of living: 'Let Us Catch Up with and Surpass Africa.'"
Bissell: "The Soviet Union was a country where, in 1990, remembering Nikita Khrushchev's boastful promise to overtake and surpass American standards of living, angry, abused, and exhausted protestors marched past the Kremlin carrying placards that read: 'Let us catch up with and surpass Africa.'"
--There you have it. A lot of coincidences for one little essay. Again, I have to thank "Ranger West" (E.M.) for bringing this to my attention. Comments from all parties about this are welcomed.